Cultures of gathering/M2.1/M1

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The shift towards a circular economy challenges us to question our aesthetic models and approaches to design, and to search for new tools and ways of acting. The project formulates the thesis that the procedure of 'gathering', in its economic as well as aesthetic form, is gaining an ever greater role as a cultural technique in the overall mechanism of the circular economy. This holds innumerable potentials for our creative processes that need to be explored.

In the coming year, we will examine 'cultures of gathering' from two points of view. The first semester will focus on the processes that make collecting possible in the first place. Bringing together, ordering, cataloging, storing, repairing, enhancing, making visible, recombining, reinserting.... These are united in the task of designing a university building lodge - a spatial infrastructure that centrally or decentrally makes 'gathering' an integral visible process of the building development of the RWTH. This involves both the necessary logistical material infrastructure and the knowledge infrastructure that fosters innovation, interdisciplinarity, and public discourse.

In the second semester, we will approach the creative potentials of 'gathering' as a design tool. In doing so, we will explore themes such as spolia, recombinatorialism, de-functionalization, objet trouvé through a series of immersions and exercises, and translate these into spatial installations, collages, drawings, and models.

We will move throughout the cosmos of the large building stock of the RWTH Aachen University, and hope to be able to rediscover our familiar surroundings with new eyes through 'gathering'. We are welcome to be radical, utopian and speculative!

In cooperation with the Lehrgebiet Bauplan

The first semester can be also be credited as an M1 project.

Introduction: 17.10.2023, 9am
Dates: Tuesdays, 9am – 6pm

Olga Cobușcean Prof. Thomas Schmitz